Summary: This sermon examines the "appointed time" where Jesus knew that Judas would betray him at the "opportune time."
February 29, 2006 Matthew 26:14-25
Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests and asked, "What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?" So they counted out for him thirty silver coins. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over. On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?" He replied, "Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.’" So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover. When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve. And while they were eating, he said, "I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me." They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, "Surely not I, Lord?" Jesus replied, "The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born." Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, "Surely not I, Rabbi?" Jesus answered, "Yes, it is you."
Ecclesiastes 3 reads,
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
What time is it for you? Are you living in a loving time, a mending time, a searching time, a tearing time? Life is rather interesting because when we come together to worship we all - while living at the same time - are experiencing different times. Some are closer to dying, while others are in the midst of being born. Some are planting and some are being uprooted.
The problems we have with life is when we find ourselves in times we don’t want to be in. We’d rather be planting, but instead we’re being uprooted. We’re rather be laughing, but we find ourselves weeping. So we get angry or frustrated with life - because ultimately we don’t have control of the time we are in. We don’t know what times are coming. But we know they will get worse - that they will be troubling times. That’s the theme of our Lenten services this year - Troubling Times of the Passion. As true God - Jesus DID know what times were coming. It was almost time to die for the sins of the world - with the guilt of the world on His back. Instead of running from it - He embraced it. He called it -
Ho Kairos Mou - My "Appointed Time"
In the big picture of things - as we begin these Lent services it would be good for us to review a little bit of the history here before we get started. This was now the third year of Jesus’ ministry - and the height of his popularity had now come and gone. The Pharisees and Teachers of the Law had had their fill of Jesus - and were becoming more than hardened against Him. They were now actively plotting on how to kill Jesus - looking for their opportune time. Judas decided to help their time come. Our text for today reads,
Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests and asked, "What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?" So they counted out for him thirty silver coins. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.
Judas was looking for an opportune time, but Jesus didn’t have to look. He knew that the time for Him to be betrayed was "appointed" - as the NIV says. "Appointed" isn’t actually in the Greek. It simply reads "ho kairos mou" - which literally translated means "the time of me." With the article "the," He seems to be referring to a well known time - a planned time - HIS time that had planned for many years - thousands of years. This can be seen from the way "kairos" is used - especially throughout the Gospels. John 7 is a prime example. The disciples were going to the Feast of Tabernacles, and they wanted Jesus to come along. But Jesus responded,